Lalbagh Fort, Lalbag Kella or Fort of Aurangabad whatever you say, all will point to the same fort which was built in old Dhaka during the reign of Mughal Empire. This is one of the best symbols of Mughal Period. Bangladesh, formerly known as Bengal was visited by many foreign rulers once due to its resources. Mughals were one of them. During their reign, they have built many forts, mosques and other structures throughout Bangladesh.
Location of Lalbag Kella
The fort is located at Lalbagh in old Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is a remarkable structure of Mughal Empire, built on the bank of river Buriganga. You can visit Lalbagh fort any time, but the visit may take you few steps back in time. You can easily get to the Lalbagh fort by a rickshaw or local bus. You have to get to Gulistan first and then you can take a rickshaw from there. Or you can take a taxi cab or CNG, which will not cost you more than 200 or 300 Taka.
Visiting Hours & Entry Fees
During summer, Sunday is weekly holiday and Monday is half day open from 2:30 pm to 6 pm. On Friday it is open from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM and again from 02:30 PM to 06:00 PM. On the other days, it is open from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and again from 02:00 PM to 06:00 PM. During winter, it opens at 09:00 AM and closed at 05:00 PM. During Ramadan, it closes at 4:00 pm. It remains closed on govt. holidays or Eid day. But it remains open for visitors on the following day of Eid. The entry fee is 20 Taka for local tourists, 100 Taka for SAARC country tourists and 200 BDT for other tourists.
History of Lalbagh Fort
The Lalbagh fort is incomplete. As the then Mughal prince Muhammad Azam who was later succeeded the throne was in Dhaka. He started building the fort, but, before he could complete the job was called upon by his father Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi. Later the Subedar or Governor of Dhaka, Shayesta Khan started living here. But, his daughter Pari Bibi died here and he left the fort suspecting it is menacing. We still can find the tomb of Pari Bibi in Lalbagh Fort. After Shayesta khan left Dhaka and capital was also transferred to Murshidabad. So, this place was left incomplete and lost importance and popularity subsequently. It was presented to Shayesta khan by Aurangzeb which was later inherited by his successors. They leased it to the government. Later during British resign, the cantonment was shifted to the Lalbagh fort from Purana Paltan.
Top Attractions for Tourists
Lalbagh fort is a great heritage for Bangladesh. The main parts of the Lalbagh fort are given beneath.
The mosque which is on the west side, it was built for prayer then. And still, now it is used for prayer. This mosque is one of the greatest symbols of Islamic art in this country. It is one of the most beautiful and ancient mosques in Bangladesh. The wall carving and structure made it one of the major tourist attractions.
The Tomb of Pari Bibi
It is in the middle of the east-west part. Shayesta khan could not get it completed himself. The roofs are made of black stone and the tomb on the roof is made of pure copper. Shayesta khan wanted to decorate the place with tiles, marble stones, and other handmade crafty items. The tomb is 20.2 meters long. It was inaugurated on 1688.
This Palace is on the east side. This is the largest part of the port. The governor used to give directions here. He used to do it once in a week. There is a royal bathroom named “Hammam”.
The Entry Gateways
There are three entry paths into the fort.The Southern gateway can be seen from Buriganga and has a three-storied structure. The middle one is covered with Minarat. There are a botanical garden and fountain on the premises which is also spectacular.
The Secret Tunnel
There are some unresolved mysteries about Lalbagh fort. There are many secret tunnels and passages underground. Those were built to protect from the robbery of Arakanese and Portuguese robbers. But during 1857, many freedom seeking Sipahi went in those tunnels to save themselves. They never came back and neither the British soldiers who went after them. Finally, the British Government closed those tunnels and buried the mystery with it.
From the Mughal Period, many landlords, emperors & kings visited Bengal and till now their relics are being found from the different part of Bangladesh. There are also some other forts located in Bangladesh like Idrakpur Fort, Hajiganj Fort etc. but Lalbagh Fort is still the most popular of all.
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